New Line Cinema has hired “The West Wing” writer-producers Lawrence O’Donnell and Paul Redford to pen a script based on the story of Jack Greenberg, the attorney who argued in Brown v. Board of Education that racial segregation of public schools was unconstitutional.
The as-yet-untitled project came to New Line through Michael Bogner and John Saroff, two students at Columbia Law School, where the 79-year-old Greenberg is still a professor.
Bogner and Saroff wrote a treatment and gave it to New Line exec Michael Disco, who worked with Bogner in New Line’s New York office before Bogner went to law school.
Bogner and Saroff will receive co-producing credits on this project, with New Line seeking full producers once the studio receives a script. O’Donnell and Redford plan to meet with Greenberg this week.
The 50th anniversary of the Brown decision is May 17. Greenberg was the only white member of the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Educational Fund and today is the only living member of the team that won the Brown lawsuit.
In addition to New Line head Toby Emmerich, Mark Kaufman and Disco are execs on the project.
O’Donnell, who was Democratic chief of staff of the Senate Committee on Finance from 1993-95, is also a senior political analyst for MSNBC.